An educators toolkit for planning workshops and lessons on a range of human development, human rights and global justice issues. This guide includes an introduction to development education (DE) with ideas, sample activities and approaches for immediate use with age-appropriate materials.


Asking questions about conflict…displacement and the responsibility of the European Union to the crisis of refugees crossing the Mediterranean…arguing about aid and its role in the world… debating (un)sustainable development…exploring fair and unfair trade…challenging child labour and its links here…tackling waste and overconsumption…promoting women’s rights…building humans rights… remembering the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa…looking at solutions, not just problems…

Many readers and educators have regularly asked us for an accessible and quickly usable introduction to development education (DE) with ideas and activities that can be immediately used. This section has been designed with just that in mind. It includes:

  • a brief description of development education
  • a set of starter activities for different age groups and contexts
  • some ideas for using different types of resources.

From the outset, ‘resources’ are everywhere. Think of clothes, food, shoes, building equipment, mobile phones, billboards and the transport we use. This guide takes this broad approach to ‘resources’ as a platform for learning about the world during the era of the goals for sustainable development.

This section is designed for use by everyone whether working with adults or youth, in formal or non-formal education, in public education, campaigning and information provision.

Educational strategies complemented by this guide

A range of educational strategies are complimentary to the aims of this introductory guide to DE, as detailed below.

In addition, the Strategy for Education on Sustainable Development in Ireland 2014-2020 cuts across all education sectors and contains thematic areas in which DE has been activeily working within for over two decades. Development educators were also actively involved in the development of the strategy in recent years, including

A note about this guide: inevitably, it has not been possible to include all relevant development education ideas and activities in this guide. We intend to develop it further in the coming months and to add in a variety of other materials, resources, ideas and arguments. In this context, we would particularly welcome comments, feedback and suggestions.


This section was developed by Tony Daly, Ciara Regan and Colm Regan with many thanks to the following organisations and people for sharing ideas, comments and permission to make publications available in whole or in part.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all those whose materials, cartoons, articles, photos and graphics appear throughout the section and also across the linked pages of the site itself:

Deirdre Hogan | Ubuntu Network: Teacher Education for Sustainable Development

Tony Murphy and Fiona King | National College of Art and Design

Gerry Jeffers | Ubuntu Network: Teacher Education for Sustainable Development

Patsy Toland | Gorta Self Help Africa

Louise Robinson | Reading International Solidarity Centre (UK)

Valerie Duffy | National Youth Council of Ireland

Global Dimensions and Think Global: the Development Education Association (UK)

Angela Rickard (Department of Education, NUI Maynooth) and attendees at the discussion event at NUI Maynooth on development education and film on 11 November 2014.

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